Funny things can happen when we make assumptions. Grab a cup of coffee and let me share a story about me, my twin brother Charles, and our wonderful wives.
One evening, I took my wife Sherri out for dinner. We had a wonderful meal at Giuseppi’s. Sherri told me that she wanted to run by Ace Hardware to pick up a gift for Charles’ wife, Kelley.
While we were at Ace, Sherri called Charles to ask him a question concerning the gift. Charles happened to mention that he and Kelley were out for dinner. Sherri asked where they were eating. He said, “Giuseppi’s.”
Sherri said, “We were just there. Where are you sitting?” Charles told her near the bar. Sherri followed up with a more precise question, “Which booth?” Charles replied.
Sherri laughed and said, “You guys are sitting exactly where we were just a few minutes ago.” Charles said, “So…that’s why the waitress looked at me so funny!” I drove back to the restaurant to explain to the waitress – I didn’t want her to make a wrong assumption.[callout]”What’s great about comedy, obviously, is that you set up a situation that people assume one thing and then you break the assumption. That’s basically the backbone to comedy. You set up a situation, let people make an assumption, and then you break the assumption.” -Bryan Cranston[/callout]
Assumptions are great for comedy, but assumptions can be killers in business. Invalid assumptions can lead to budget problems, schedule delays, and resource problems, to name a few.
Individuals and teams make assumptions when planning or making decisions. As we consider different options, we choose the path that we believe will bring the greatest success. However, our plans and decisions are sometimes based on faulty assumptions. Let’s explore common mistakes and what we can do about each.
Become a more effective project risk manager.